3 Life & Ministry Lessons I Learned from the Instagram Rebranding

On May 11th Instagram caused a social media firestorm by updating their logo and the look of their app. Instead of openly voicing my feelings about this change, I decided to sit back and take it all in. As a Designer, I have my own thoughts on the new branding but aside from my personal opinion I learned three major life lessons in the process that I think apply to ministry as well.
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1. Change = Conversation + Modification

If you work in ministry, you know this all too well. It could be a design change to your website, the addition of a coffee station, changing the order of your worship service, or something as small as moving the welcome area to a different location in the lobby. People are going to notice, they will definitely talk about it, and adjustments will be necessary. This isn’t really a ministry only concept, it happens in all aspects of our lives.

For example:

Instagram changes their logo, so we have to adjust to finding the app on our home screen.

The weather changes, so we choose to wear different clothes.

Our income shifts, so we adjust our spending.

Our church congregation expands by 50%, so we prepare for changes and renovations.

Every change in life, and ministry, will require adjustment and this can make many people uncomfortable. When you’re faced with the struggle of change it’s important to remember this;

God is in the business of change but His word never changes. You can adjust your perspective without compromising the mission.

What I mean by this is everything is constantly changing and it only makes sense that the church would want to make the house of the Lord the best it can be and to reach as many people as possible but that doesn’t mean that our mission has changed.

As with any change you may make in your church, you’re likely to get mixed feedback. This brings me to my second point.

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2. You’ll Never Make Everyone Happy

This is a serious lesson I have learned many times in both ministry and life situations. First of all, I’m a people pleaser. I would much rather inconvenience myself than disappoint just about anyone. I know some of you reading this can totally relate.

Second, even if you’re not a people please, it can be frustrating when your good intentions are viewed as attempts to fix a problem that didn’t exist. I’m sure the design team behind the new Instagram logo have experienced their fair share of this type of backlash from distressed users.

If you check out the blog post that Instagram published on their new logo, you’ll see that their goal was to thank their users, make the app easier to navigate, and display through their logo the diverse community on Instagram. Unfortunately, some users and many of my design friends didn’t see it that way.

So if we can’t make everybody happy, who should we make happy? In the business world, it’s easy; your target audience. In ministry, it’s also pretty easy; God.

You see, God doesn’t judge a book by its cover, a ministry by its logo, or even a church coffee shop by its cappuccino. He sees the heart behind it.

However, even with the best intentions, I know it can be easy to see what everyone else is doing, or not doing, and use that to gauge the success of your ministry. This leads me into the third lesson I learned.

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3. “Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

This quote could not be more applicable to life, ministry, and of course the new Instagram branding. It’s easy to look at the new Instagram app and think;

“Facebook didn’t change their logo…

Twitter didn’t change their app…

Snapchat does crazy stuff, why so plain?”

Does this comparison sound a little familiar? Maybe you’ve heard something like this…

“Our old sound system seemed to work just fine…

The church down the street doesn’t make me register my kids…

We didn’t sing this style of music last year, why change it?”

Instagram didn’t design their app to be like all the others. They cared about one thing; putting more focus on your photos and videos while maintaining a simple design that is easy to navigate. Our focus should be to keep the focus on Christ while reaching out to our community in a way that makes them feel welcome.

So to wrap up this article I want you to be encouraged and remember this;

God created you for a purpose.

God brought your church family together for a purpose.

In every struggle, trust God’s plan, always look forward, and choose love every time.

Were you encouraged by this article? What did you learn from the Instagram rebranding? I’d love to hear from you!

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